Wednesday, 15 February 2012
L.J. Smith fired from writing The Vampire Diaries!
I read the original article for this over at Parafantasy and at first I was shocked. I love The Vampire Diaries and couldn't believe that Harper Collins has fired L.J. Smith from writing the books she's become famous for.
However, when I looked into it, it seems L.J. Smith was employed to write the books by Harper Collins, she didn't actually come up with the idea herself (I may be wrong about this, so please, if I am, feel free to correct me.) She was employed to write the books 'for hire' which means she doesn't own a single word of the series. Same thing applies to her 'Secret Circle' series.
Basically L.J. Smith was no more than a contracted writer. Even though fans have come to love her work, Harper Collins has simply fired her and got in a new ghost writer.
It must be heartbreaking to know someone else is going to write the characters I'm sure she thinks of as her own. Creating a character is such a personal thing and I'd be amazed if a ghost writer can create the same books with the same voice.
This horrible situation has only done more to cement by belief that independent publishing is the way to go. Perhaps, if a big company offered me a disgusting amount of money, I'd happily hand over my books, but the whole thing just feels so cold, so cut-throat. Yes, it's business, but creating a book is a bit like childbirth; it's long and arduous, and often exhausting. To snatch the 'baby' away from it's 'mother' is simply wrong.
So what do you think? Are you a fan of the series? Will you still be watching the show or reading the books? Or are you an author; would you sell your series knowing that the publisher could fire you from writing it and get in someone new?